The Truth About Beauty: God And Art
by Monty Morgan
Dr. R.C. Sproul has said, “Every form is an art form.” Art has always been important in worship. For centuries the church commissioned art as a means to help convey spiritual truths to the community prior to the spread of literacy.
At Ligonier Ministries, the Tabletalk art director is commissioned to locate art to help convey spiritual truths. In particular, the art director is responsible to present appropriate visual images to help express the concept of the written articles found in each issue.
What guidelines do we use in the choice of a piece of art? Why do we choose what we do? Ligonier Ministries is an organization that presents God’s Word as the final authority on how we approach the issues of every day life. The Bible has a time-tested record of being reliable and accurate. Thus, we use a great deal of “time-tested” museum quality fine art that has come to us from classical masters of visual communication. Most of the art we use is an illustration based on a portion of the Bible. These paintings are an attempt to point us to the power and holiness of God. We trust the art you view in Tabletalk has integrity and honors God.
Ligonier chooses art with style. By style we do not mean that which is culturally in vogue, trendy, or popular. The style Ligonier strives for is conservative, stable, and established. We stay away from the abstract and lean on the realistic so little interpretation is needed. The colors are not bright or gaudy but rich and aged. And the subjects most often are biblical due to the subject matter being presented.
Why go to the trouble and expense of using fine art? Art communicates differently than writing. Visual art immediately connects to the emotions. So art sets the mood. It is the use of color, shape, and texture in the art that affects our feelings and sentiment about an article before we even begin reading. Thus, the visual and written images must complement and communicate together the message Ligonier Ministries wants to bring to you, the reader.
Truthfully, illustrating spiritual concepts is nearly impossible. The best men can do is only a contrivance. However, we endeavor to find images that exhibit the monthly theme and enhance Tabletalk for your enjoyment and edification.